Greek Ground Turkey (Great Meal Prep!)

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This Greek Ground Turkey starts with robustly seasoned ground turkey with sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives. Serve the ground turkey over lemon-parsley rice with fresh veggies and a tasty, quick tzatziki sauce.

This nutritious and flavor-packed meal is also a great candidate for meal prepping — more details on that in the post!

Overhead image of Greek Ground Turkey in a bowl, ready to be eaten.

Greek Ground Turkey

These Greek Ground Turkey bowls are the perfect way to stay on track with any healthful eating goals you may have coming into the New Year. They’re loaded with good-for-you ingredients, but we are not skimping on any flavor!  From the lemon-parsley rice to the deeply flavorful ground turkey and the myriad fresh topping options — what’s not to love?! And it all starts with Greek Ground Turkey.

Below I’ll break down all the components of this meal, as well as how I like to meal prep with this recipe. 

Process shots-- images of the onion and garlic being sautéed; rice being added; and it all being cooked.

Lemon-parsley rice

The base of these Greek Ground Turkey bowls is herby lemon rice. It’s not much more work than making regular rice, but you’ll be amazed just how deeply flavorful it is.

We use a lot of the same ingredients in the rice and the ground turkey, so it makes sense to start by prepping everything together before starting: dice the onion, mince the garlic, zest some lemons, and juice some lemons.

A few prep shortcut suggestions:

  • Buy pre-diced onion from the produce section of your store or use frozen diced onions.
  • Use jarred minced garlic or a garlic press.
  • A microplane (like this one) makes zesting the lemons quick and easy.
  • And if you juice a lot of citrus, this citrus juicer will transform your lemons to lemon juice in seconds!

Greek-seasoned ground turkey

While the rice is cooking, I like to prepare the ground turkey and toppings. The ground turkey cooks fairly quickly; it’s a meat we want to avoid over-cooking since it can become and dry and flavorless when even slightly over-cooked.

The seasoning mixture may seem like a lot, but it works with ground turkey and ensures there is plenty of flavor — no dry flavorless turkey in this dish! 

The finishing touches to this cooked Greek ground turkey include lemon juice, lemon zest, kalamata olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. The meat does end up pretty intensely lemon-flavored (which we love), but feel free to cut back on the lemon if desired. The olives and sun-dried tomatoes can also be left out, but they add a nice flavor and texture to the meat.

QUICK TIP

These are the sun-dried tomatoes I add to Greek Ground Turkey. They’re sliced (julienne cut) and packed with herbs and olive oil. They add a lot of flavor to the meat and don’t require much chopping since they are already thinly sliced.

Process shots-- images of Greek Ground Turkey being cooked.

Tzatziki Sauce

I like making this sauce in advance because it becomes more flavorful as it sits in the fridge. It sure makes dinner assembly that much quicker later on.

A few quick notes on this sauce:

  • Make sure to use good full-fat, plain Greek yogurt.  We want a full-fat yogurt to avoid watery or bland tzatziki. (We love Greek God’s® plain Greek yogurt best!)
  • Squeeze liquid out of the cucumber. Cucumber has very high water content and will water down the sauce or make it bland. Wring out excess liquid a few times with paper towels or cheesecloth before adding to the mix. (See “quick tip” below.)
  • Use real lemon juice. Bottled lemon juice won’t quite cut it here, because the sauce also relies on the zest of the lemon. When zesting the lemon, avoid the white pith of the lemon — this is very bitter. Using a microplane, zest only the very outside yellow part of the lemon.
  • Don’t forget to season. A little bit of salt and pepper goes a long way in intensifying flavors and pulling everything together.

QUICK TIP

Use an English cucumber or Persian cucumbers (Persian cucumbers are sometimes labeled as mini/salad cucumbers) for this sauce and for topping these Greek Ground Turkey bowls. Regular cucumbers don’t work as well because they lack flavor and are too watery.

Overhead image of the tzatziki sauce being made for these Greek Ground Turkey bowls.

Greek Ground Turkey Toppings

Pita Bread or Chips.

My husband and boys love this meal with charred pita bread or pita chips on the side. (Either whole wheat or white pita bread works great in this recipe.) Alternatively, store-bought pita chips add a nice crunch!

To char pita bread: Spray both sides of the pita bread with olive oil cooking spray and “grill” the bread on the stovetop over the open flame (on medium-low heat) until slightly charred, flipping with tongs as needed, about 10-15 seconds per side. Alternatively, warm (covered with a damp paper towel) in the microwave.

Veggies.

We love the combo of cherry tomatoes and Persian/English cucumber to top these Greek ground turkey bowls. 

Red onion is another topping that would be great (either pickled or raw). Additional kalamata olives would also be nice if you really love them.

Fresh lemon, fresh herbs, and feta cheese.

These three ingredients pull everything together. The feta adds a nice tang and saltiness to the bowls, the lemon adds a hit of freshness and acidity, and we’ll sometimes add some fresh chopped parsley for additional freshness.

If you don’t choose to use the feta cheese, you may want to add an extra pinch of salt to the finished bowls.

Up-close overhead image of the Greek Ground Turkey bowls with all the toppings, ready to be served.

Meal Prepping this Greek Ground Turkey

To meal prep this recipe, divide the rice equally among four containers. Top each container with equal parts of the Greek ground turkey mixture.

In a separate container or small bag, add the chopped veggies, feta cheese, and lemon wedge if using. Add the tzatziki sauce to another separate small container.

When ready to eat, warm the rice and ground turkey mixture. (I do about 45 seconds, covered with a damp paper towel in the microwave. Don’t heat too long or it will dry out the turkey.) Top the warmed mixture with the veggies and feta, squeeze lemon over everything, and add a few spoonfuls of tzatziki sauce.

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Greek Turkey Bowls

5 from 1 vote
Greek Ground Turkey starts with robustly seasoned ground turkey with sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives. Serve this turkey over lemon-parsley rice with fresh veggies and a tasty, quick tzatziki sauce.
Print Recipe

Greek Turkey Bowls

5 from 1 vote
Greek Ground Turkey starts with robustly seasoned ground turkey with sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives. Serve this turkey over lemon-parsley rice with fresh veggies and a tasty, quick tzatziki sauce.
Course Dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Greek, Healthy
Keyword greek ground turkey
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 616kcal
Cost $7.92

Ingredients

Ground Turkey

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup (~1 onion; 125g) diced yellow onion, divided
  • 4 teaspoons (~4 cloves) minced garlic, divided
  • 1 pound (16 oz.) lean ground turkey (93/7)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH: onion powder, garlic powder, dried thyme, salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon powder
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon (1 tsp. zest + 4 tbsp. lemon juice)
  • 1/4 cup (31g) thinly sliced kalamata olives, optional
  • 1/3 cup (58g) coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)

Lemon Parsley Rice

  • 3/4 cup (135g) basmati rice (or long-grain white)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (140g) chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup (105g) water
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon (1 tsp. zest + 2-1/2 tbsp. lemon juice)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (71g) grated English or Persian cucumber
  • 1/2 cup (110g) plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon (1/2 teaspoon zest, 1 tablespoon juice)
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

Toppings

  • 1 cup (165g) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup (125g) English or Persian cucumber, cut into half-moons
  • Fresh parsley, feta cheese, additional lemon wedges

Instructions

  • TZATZIKI: I like to prepare the sauce first so it has time to chill and strengthen the flavors. Grate a cucumber with the large holes of a cheese grater. Line a small bowl with a few paper towels (or a clean kitchen towel) and place the grated cucumber on top. Squeeze out as much extra moisture as you can from the cucumber (to keep the sauce from being watery). Once it's drained, add to a medium-sized bowl. Add in the 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 and 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste (I add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper). Cover the bowl and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • LEMON PARSLEY RICE: Thoroughly rinse the basmati rice in a fine-mesh sieve under cold water; set aside to dry. Dice the onion and mince the garlic; divide both in half. We'll use half in the rice and half in the turkey mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add in 1/2 cup diced onion and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add in garlic and cook for 30 seconds to one minute more. Mix in rinsed rice and stir constantly for 3 minutes. Stir in chicken stock, water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt (or salt to taste). Bring to a boil. Once boiling, place a lid on the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook, covered for 10-12 minutes or until liquid is evaporated. Keeping the lid on, remove the pot from the heat and let stand, untouched for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the lid and stir in the 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 2-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning adding salt and pepper if desired.
  • GREEK TURKEY: Before starting, measure out all the seasonings to a small bowl (1 tablespoon oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon each: onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper, and 2 teaspoons beef bouillon powder). Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, and once the oil is hot, add in the remaining 1/2 cup diced onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons garlic and cook for 30 seconds and then add in the ground turkey. Crumble the meat into small pieces and cook until no longer pink (but not cooked through all the way), about 4-5 minutes. Mix in all the seasonings and stir until meat is fully cooked through, about 2 more minutes, being careful to not overcook. Remove from the heat. Stir in the 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 4 tablespoons juice (adjust lemon addition to taste; we like lots of lemon!) and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir in the olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Cover and set aside.
  • TOPPINGS: While the turkey is cooking, prep the toppings. Halve the cherry tomatoes and thinly slice or cut cucumbers into half-moons. Remove the tzatziki from the fridge and stir well.
  • ASSEMBLY: Divide equal amounts of rice among four bowls or plates. Top each bowl with equal amounts of the ground turkey mixture. Divide cherry tomatoes and cucumbers evenly among the plates. Add tzatziki sauce to the bowls. (Add to desired preference; we like a lot in each bowl!) Add a sprinkle of feta to each plate. (~1-2 tablespoons per plate; if you aren't adding feta, you may need an extra sprinkle of salt.) Add lemon wedges and fresh parsley if desired. Squeeze lemon on top of everything and enjoy!

Video

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 616kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 682mg | Potassium: 1172mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 996IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 4mg

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